Google has been working on a very interesting concept for the past couple of years to bring internet connectivity to the most remote regions on this planet. Project Loon has come a very long way since Google first talked about it and now the company is looking to expand it further to actually provide internet service to real people. India has many remote regions where internet connectivity isn’t available which is why it wants to team up with a local carrier to bring its internet balloons to India.
Rajan Anandan, a Google VP in India, has told the Economic Times that the company needs to partner up with a local carrier for this purpose. “We can’t do a Loon pilot without partnering with a local telco. We’re talking to a number of them,” he said.
The company has previously run tests with Australia’s Telstra but it was on a small scale with just 20 odd balloons. It’s reportedly looking to launch a full-scale pilot program in India and may partner with a local carrier called BSNL, though the company hasn’t confirmed that yet.
With Project Loon, Google only provides the infrastructure which floats on balloons in the sky, the actual internet service is provided by the partner carrier so it’s a bit different than Facebook’s Free Basics service which has already been banned in India.